1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Skull Splitter - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Skull SplitterSkull Splitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,764 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,764
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 129
Gots: 122 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-08-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Skull Splitter Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,764 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

A smooth drinking scotch ale, smooth medium plus mouthfeel. Muted smoke and fruit flavour. Appropriately average carbonation. Sweet malty finish. More drinkable than the style, more muted flavour. Good lacing. Alcohol spice aroma. Alcohol sledgehammer afterwards.

09-17-2006 02:26:23 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -2%

12-05-2012 00:26:25 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%

Best before 7/2014.

Pours a murky brown with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruits, burnt caramel/toffee, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is of malt, burnt caramel, dark fruit, and some earthy, herbal hop flavors. There is an alcohol kick and a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but fairly strong.

08-11-2012 04:41:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

03-02-2013 17:42:30 | More by djrn2
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -26.5%

12-14-2011 04:27:00 | More by nmann08
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

A: The beer is slightly hazy copper in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high creamy beige head that quickly settled down leaving a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark fruits in the nose and notes of malty sweetness.
T: The overall taste is rather sweet and has flavors of dark fruits along with notes of molasses and hints of caramel. There are some hints of spices in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is rather light compared to other beers in this style.
O: The beer is quite flavorful and very easy to drink because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. It is a good representation of the style.

03-25-2011 01:03:59 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

Dark reddish bronze with orange peel accents. The beer itself is clear, but is filled with a large number of chunky particulates that one doesn't usually see in this style (at least I don't). Atop the liquid is a moderate-sized, toasted tan head of sticky foam that is deposits a short, thick collar of lace with a few scraps higher up the glass.

The nose is nice even if it isn't quite as complex as the noses on the very best versions. Dark butterscotch, sour peat and whisky are the main components. I don't believe it's quite as dark as some Scotch ales; there's very little cocoa or molasses for instance.

There's plenty of flavor and plenty of power, but it still strikes me as a bit short on complexity. This is still very good beer however. The flavor profile is essentially a reprise of the nose. It's both sweet and sour (bitter appears on the finish), delivering a big, malty, whiskyish flood of goodness with each mouthful. Nuance is cast aside for power and strength, as it should be in a beer named SkullSplitter.

It becomes smoother and still more peaty, phenolic even, with warming. This beer is starting to remind me of Islay Scotch due to the emerging medicinal phenols (think Band-Aids, but in a good way). The finish is long and lingering, the better to savor the flavor, and the medium-full body has a pleasing, mouthcoating lubricity.

SkullSplitter is aptly named. It isn't a 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee' kind of beer, but more of a 'rush the bastard and plant an axe between his eyes' kind of beer. That isn't entirely fair, it's more refined than that, but it is on the straightforward end of the Scotch ale spectrum. This is a beer that I'll be sure to look for again.

02-26-2005 21:33:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Appearance: Pours a reasonably clear ice tea colored body with a nice beige head that hangs around for the duration and leaves good lacing

Smell: Smells like raisins, biscuits, caramel and rubber bands

Taste: Tastes rather sweet on the front end with a caramel raisin flavor; mid-palate is when things start to happen, as peaty, smokey flavors builds up to an overwhelming level and creates a very complex finish that meshes with the caramel malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Mediium-heavy body with modest carbonation

Drinkability: A complex and enjoyable Wee Heavy

01-17-2006 02:13:33 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.59/5  rDev -12%

Bottle: Poured a clear amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of deep caramelized malt with lightly sweet undertones and light toffee notes. Taste is also a mix between some caramelized malt notes with some toffee notes and a dry aftertaste. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed and quite enjoyable though overall dryer then I had expected.

02-19-2013 21:14:49 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2%

Another strong and malty beer. Has a lot of Dopplebock characteristics with it. Aromas of molassas and malt. Flavors of the same with deep figs, dates, and raison flavors. Perhapse some chocolate and smoke flavor added. Light bittering from roasted grains. Though good flavors, it has a burned flavor to me that is a bit harsh and unpleasant. The alcohols remain sweet and tame for an 8.5%er. Alcohols become a bit sherry-like and didn't completely agree with style. Stays creamy and heavy. A good winter warmer.

11-07-2005 16:38:49 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

This was superb, a really well crafted beer that I waited far too long to try. Finally got around to buying a single of this one tonight while I was on my trip up to knoxville and I was not dissapointed. Poured a very nice deeep dark brown with an ample two inch head of off white foamy lace on top. This had some very nice retention and left behind about a half inch of frothy white foam on the top when it was done. Very nice side glass lace as well. The smell was nice, although I have to say a little on thel ight side. A nice sweet caramel like aroma mixed in with ample earthy grains made for a full aroma, just a little light. The taste was really smooth. for 9%abv this was remarkable in that you could pick up none of the alcohol. It had a medium to full body that had a great creamy feel to it. Great flavors of caramel with a touch of grassy hops and a decent bread like back. It had a noticable nuttiness to it as well. Overall this was a very very nice beer and something I know I will go back to. It was just so rediculously smooth, I really could have had four or five of them, thugh I am sure it would have caught up to me before then. Really a great treat and something I would have to highly recommend.

11-10-2007 02:44:53 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev -2%

12-01-2011 18:37:18 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

12-13-2013 07:29:09 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

01-14-2013 04:29:48 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev -2%

03-17-2013 23:01:36 | More by GRG1313
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

12-10-2013 21:56:38 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

11 ounce bottle - $2.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a smallish, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, peat-laden nose with notes of caramel, chocolate, vinous fruits, and cooked sugars.

Taste: Pale malts stirred up with pleasingly, sweet tastes of dark caramel, sugar-coated peat, brown sugar, and milk chocolate. Slightly warming alcohol presence; sure, it's noticeable, but it's not ever glaring. Raisiny fruitiness. Mildly spicy hops and bitterness. Finishes semi-dry with an enduring taste of candied fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A nice, satisfying, sweet-tasting brew. It had been some years since I last had one and shame on me for letting it go so long, really.

03-07-2009 03:18:07 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

12-28-2013 21:40:44 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

This beer pours out as a beautiful redish brown color with a good head to start then it card off just to leave a little white film over top of the beer. The smell is semi sweet with some malts dominating the aroma with a bit or caramel. The taste is sweet too with some caramel flavors through out. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth and not overly carbonated. It's a stronger beer too coming in at 8.5%. Overall I enjoy this beer quite a bit, probably one of my favorite Scottish beers I've ever had. I look forward to having this every time I get the chance. Really worth checking out!

05-27-2011 05:15:04 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%

Very appetizing amber colored beer with rich creamy head.Raisin-like aroma to it,kinda porty in taste to me with some dried fruit in there,alchol was prevalent ecspecially when it began to warm.Something to drink before bedtime.Really nice liked it alot.

03-18-2003 09:13:14 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%

Served in a plastic tumbler.

Another old favorite from back in the day finally getting revisited. It pours a clear sunset amber topped by about a finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, buttery biscuits, light toffee, and orange peel. The taste doesn't deviate one bit from the sell. Period. Fair enough. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat drying finish. Overall, a solid Scotch ale, but somehow not as good as I remember it being back in the day.

02-14-2011 01:10:08 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev -6.1%

A - Poured out a burgandy/brown color with a fluffy, tan, three-finger head. Left some traces of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and spices.

T - It was spicy and had a burnt toast malt. There was also a dried fruit taste.

M - It was smooth and crisp with a warm alcohol presence. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good beer, but it would be hard to have a couple in one sitting. I've just been having one at a time.

08-27-2007 02:01:52 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -2%

11-25-2011 20:20:37 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%

330ml bottle. A strange find in decidedly non-raping and pillaging suburban Portland, OR earlier this year.

This beer pours a perfectly clear, dark ruddy amber hue, with two broad fingers of puffy, foamy, and mildly creamy ecru head, which leaves a low castle ruins profile of lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of sweet, sharp malt - caramel and hard toffee - and dark, tangy fruit, all adrift in a boozy undercurrent. The taste is more caramel malt, tinged with edgy toffee, a soft oily nuttiness, dark musty fruit, herbal earthy hops, and mildly metallic alcohol.

The carbonation is fairly sedate, barely a tic or barb about, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, the booze tugging at the trouser cuffs a tad. It finishes off-dry, the latent malt chugging along, buffered by a slight astringency, equal parts booze and herbal hops.

Pretty hard to say anything bad about this offering, lest Odin's dogs of war be set free. Still, the standard, enjoyable big malt component isn't done any favours by the kind of off-putting hop character. Booze, I can deal with, this, less so.

10-21-2011 01:10:51 | More by biboergosum
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

4/5  rDev -2%

06-22-2013 06:31:48 | More by SocalKicks
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Skull Splitter from Orkney Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 1,764 ratings.